I got to hear Sarah Palin talk about oil drilling today (it was an NPR report from one of the GOP campaign stops.). I didn’t think anyone’s voice could grate on my nerves worse than George W. Bush’s, but I was sadly mistaken. But I’ll be more than snarky here:
The only reason anyone wants to drill for oil in the territory of the U.S. is that the price of oil finally got high enough to outweigh the costs of drilling. It’s no big patriotic endeavor, and it won’t lower the price of gasoline in a statistically significant way. It’s just plain Econ 101 — it costs more to get oil out of the ground here, so as long as buying it from OPEC was cheaper that’s what we did. Maybe a few out-of-work roughnecks wanted to drill here. Oil CEOs didn’t. By “here” I mean ANWR and offshore, as well as any traditional U.S. oil fields.
Palin talked as if we have limitless oil reserves here. Statistics from the Energy Information Administration indicate we have all of one percent of the world’s reserves. That, translated into actual barrels, will not be a limitless number. Extracting that oil cannot help us that much.
It’s not that I’m dead-set against drilling. It’s just that I’m against putting more eggs in that basket when it will not only not help much, but distract resources from developing alternative energy and things that run on alternative energy.